Heard on the Hill

Uh-oh — Paul Ryan Has Discovered GIFs

House speaker describes a new interest: ‘It’s just kind of fun to watch their reaction’

Paul D. Ryan has made history — as the first Speaker of the House to use GIFs.

The Wisconsin Republican has been known to text members of the Republican Party and has added often funny images to up his messaging game.

“What I do is I send…. GIFs to people who really don’t expect it from me,” he said at an Axios event on Wednesday morning.

“You’re talking about GIFs or GIPHYs, what are these things called? GIFs? These things are awesome,” he replied, pulling out his phone, when Mike Allen asked about his new interest. “I learned about this like three weeks ago. I didn’t know. Somebody sent me one.”

He scrolled through his cell phone and smiled to himself.

“I got one with Britney Spears doing this, Captain Obvious... These things are pretty damn funny, I think,” Ryan said. “I send this to people who really wouldn’t expect it from me and it’s just kind of fun to watch their reaction.”

His go-tos include Captain Obvious doing the thumbs up, like he mentioned, as well as characters like Stifler in Old School saying “yes!” and Frank Drebin saying “nothing to see here” with explosions in the background.

Former Speaker John A. Boehner’s press office would occasionally use a GIF here and there, a spokesman said, but Boehner never emailed or texted a GIF to anyone.

“I think you’re on solid ground in going ahead and asserting that Speaker Ryan has made history in this regard,” David Schnittger said.

— Lindsey McPherson contributed to this report.

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